PM: Reform of services is priority

PM: Reform of services is priority


Prime Minister David Cameron is determined to push through rapid modernisation of Britain's public services

Prime Minister David Cameron will use a high-profile speech to make clear his determination to force through rapid modernisation of Britain’s public services during 2011.

Mr Cameron will say he wants “the complete modernisation of our public services” to be one of the legacies of his Government.

He will leave no doubt about the urgency of the task, telling an audience in London: “We should not put this off any longer.”

Mr Cameron’s speech comes two days ahead of the expected publication of the Health and Social Care Bill, which will usher in what a new report calls “undoubtedly the biggest shake-up of the NHS in its history”.

Measures to allow every school in England to take on self-governing academy status and to permit the creation of new “free” schools have already been passed.

The coalition Government is also planning radical changes to other public services, such as directly-elected police commissioners.

Mr Cameron will on Monday hail the news that 140 GP groups have come forward to take on new commissioning powers ahead of their introduction across England in 2013, as a sign that professionals are keen to respond to the Government’s plans to devolve decision-making to the front line.

He will also dismiss suggestions that Chancellor George Osborne’s programme of cuts will inevitably mean deteriorating services. Even after the £81 billion cuts are complete, public spending will still take up 41% of national income – the same level as in 2006 – he will say. At £5,000 per pupil, spending on education will be the same as Germany and more than in France; London will have as many police officers as New York; and health spending will match the European average.

“It’s just not true to say that the spending taps are being turned off,” Mr Cameron will say. “The money will be there and we will spend it wisely.”

The PM will try to shake off Labour claims that his reform agenda is driven by the wish to save money and an ideological desire to reduce the size of the state, insisting that it is a “personal and political” priority for him to improve services by modernising them.

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